Most fans would agree that Alan Pardew has handled himself well since he arrived on Tyneside, as the new manager last Thursday.
Joey Barton in action against Liverpool – he was awesome
And Alan has said all the right things, and seems genuinely enthusiastic about Newcastle and the possibilities ahead.
But the one thing that may be worrisome about Alan, is that he tends to make good starts at clubs, but then has shot himself in the foot, and ends up leaving a club after upsetting the dressing room.
The official reason he was sacked at Southampton in August was the hierarchy at the South coast club, were concerned about staff morale.
And Alan has an ego of course, and is certainly is not short of confidence in his own management abilities.
But we have to be concerned that with strong and potentially combustible characters like Joey Barton and Ben Arfa at the Newcastle club, we wonder if he can keep these two players happy, and playing for him.
It was easy for a personality like Chris Hughton, because both Joey and Ben Arfa seemed to really appreciate and like the Stratford-born manager, who is an excellent coach.
But Alan is a different kettle of fish, and has strong views on things to do with football.
Certainly Joey Barton has been back to his very best form this season, and was excellent yesterday.
And if Joey hadn’t been suspended for three games, you have to think Newcastle would have got more than just 2 points from the 4 games Joey missed – the first three being his suspension.
His performance yesterday, when he picked up the Man of the Match award and then dedicated it immediately to Chris Hughton (on Chris’ birthday), showed how important he is to Newcastle United these days.
And Ben Arfa speaks for himself – he’s a fantastic player – but has been hard to handle at previous clubs, as we have all been made aware of.